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Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Brief Guide to Personal Branding using Social Media

Becoming a thought leader in an industry requires expert level knowledge and vision, accompanied with the ability to communicate and align with relevant people. Social media provides that platform and power to reach out to people online and create a powerful and long lasting personal brand. Personal branding is no different than product branding, but this time it’s you who needs to be differentiated.

Developing a brand over social media is a step-by-step non-linier process, and it will take some time before you start seeing the results. Remember, creating a personal brand is directly proportional to creating value for other people.
Here we will discuss how you can use social media to make yourself a brand over the internet.

The power of blogging:


Let’s first start with blogging. Blogging do it consistently and add value. Blogging provides tangible evidence of your expertise and achievements. Before starting a blog, setup all the on-page stuff. Firstly, buy user-friendly, easy-to remember, and content appropriate domain name, and then create a blog theme according to your area of expertise and target audience. Meanwhile, set everything else like “About us” page with your personal and professional information, easy to use comments box, RSS subscription etc.

After on page setup it is important to analyze your blog with website like Website.grader.com, to make sure that your blog is well-build for search engines. If you find anything missing, add it before moving further.

Don’t forget to update your blog with quality and relevant content regularly to make your readers keep coming back. A strong, well written content can be the headstone of a great online identity, which in turn is a key element of a great personal brand.

Increase your online presence:


Now, it’s time to increase your online presence. Therefore, first submit your blog to top blog and web directories. When you submit your blog to any blog or web directory, your blog get listed in a category relevant to your area of expertise. Since many internet users have the same interest as yours, they would often search for that through the search engines, and these search engines would crawl over different blog directories every day. Therefore your blog can have a possibility to show up and read by thousands of readers online. This can generate your blog a great deal of traffic.

Claim your blog with Technorati.com. Claiming blog allows you to add keywords and description about your blog to make people find you easily through searches. Learn how to claim blog on Technorati (Read more).

Get listed with Google Blog Search. It is a specialized Google’s search engine that indexes blogs only. Thousands of people search blogs of their interest daily with Google Blog Search, and if your blog is listed with Google Blog search, they can find you easily. (Read more)

Check regularly who is linking back to you through Yahoo! Site Explorer. Backlinks tell you how much your blog or website is popular over the internet. The more the backlinks, the more you are popular, but depending on the quality of links. (Read more)

Commenting on other blogs within your area of expertise would certainly help you to build awareness and to build connections with experts. The more valuable your comments, the more it will reflect your ability. (Read more)


Brand extension with social media:

Besides blogging, to further extend you personal brand, creating accounts on other social networks and media platforms help a lot. (Read more)
Twitter.com allows you to share your latest projects and promotional ideas, and also helps you to interact with fellow tweets and social media practitioners. (Read more)

Facebook and MySpace could be used for outpost and to stay in touch with old friends, and find new ones. You can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region to connect and interact with other people. Both are the great platform for having some different experience. Profiles on them give you an opportunity to show yourself in your own way. (Read more)

LinkedIn is a professional network that helps you to explore business opportunities and to get advices from experts no matter where you are. (Read more)

Flickr is more than just photo sharing. It can be used to spread the words about yourself. (Read more) 

Digg and StumbleUpon are more of a digital media democracy that emphasis more on technology and science articles. When an article is submitted to them, other people read the submission and vote what they like the best. Once the article receives enough votes, it appears on the front page of the website. (Read more)

Moreover, get Upcoming.yahoo.com account for promoting events, and Gmail account for docs, readers and more. Creating accounts on all these social media websites would certainly give you jump recognition on social media.

In addition, creating groups on social networking platforms give you an easy mechanism for communicating with lot of people in one go.


Time to build connections:

After all the efforts, it’s time to start networking and build connections. Interact with people, allow them to reach you easily, thank community often for their time and attention, ask questions for expert advices, share knowledge based articles with your contacts and if you have mistakenly done something wrong, apologize immediately. Doing all these community building efforts grow you out as a natural extension. (Read more)

Conclusion:


The concept of personal branding is closely associated to that of leadership and at the heart of its passion. There is much more you can do to standout and become a brand. Remember, Online personal branding using social media is depended on creating quality relationships. Try to look for ways to help those who are best placed to help you, they'll be more inclined to help you, and if you need to call on them they'll remember who you are.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Introduction to Vodcasting / Video Blogging

“The combination of video files posted to the internet with a method of updating the content quickly and combining the usability of blogs with video files is known as Video blog or Vodcasts” Zen (2005). Video blogs are not just the videos, which could be found widely on internet, but video blogs carry some of these features along, Meng (2005):
  • Video blogs are downloadable files,
  • A regular updated blog format,
  • A RSS Feed with enclosure.
The video blogs are downloadable files, if it is not downloadable; it usually does not count as it is a video blog because the concept behind it is that the user can download the file and can access it even without the internet anywhere and anytime. Most of the video blogs use standard blog format, which give an ease of updating it so that it can come on ranking of search engines and the viewers can find it, and with RSS enabled on it, people can subscribe to the feed and can download videos wherever it is convenient for them. RSS reader is check feeds on schedule automatically, every time any new video blog is added it would be sent automatically to the subscribers.

Creating a vodcast is as easy as 1-2-3,

Source: Meng (2005), “Podcasting and Vodcasting – A white paper”

The videos or pictures uploaded from the cell phones having camera and access to the internet are known as Moblog.